Research: GEERLING and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 33

Abstract

GEERLING and colleagues, Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital Maastricht, The Netherlands. bgee@sint.azm.nl, write that malnutrition is frequently observed and is an important complication in patients with Crohns Disease (CD).

Background

Methodology

The authors studied the nutritional status of 32 CD patients with long-standing CD 18 women and 14 men, and 32 matched healthy controls regarding the following measures: 1) body composition 2) dietary intake 3) biochemical indexes of nutrition and 4) muscle strength.

Results

Daily mean intake of fibre and phosphorus were significantly lower in CD patients, as were plasma levels of beta-carotene, vitamins C, D, E, selenium, zinc, glutathione peroxidase activity, antioxidant status and magnesium . The percentage body fat and hamstring muscle strength were significantly lower in male CD patients than in controls, although quadriceps muscle strength was preserved.

Conclusion

There are a variety of nutritional and functional deficiencies in patients with long-standing CD in remission, particularly in males with a high lifetime dose of the steroid prednisone. Comprehensive nutritional assessment appears to be superior to single dimensional nutritional analysis.

References

Geerling BJ et al. Comprehensive nutritional status in patients with long-standing Crohn disease currently in remission. Am J Clin Nutr 67(5): 919-26. May 1998.

Comment

Crohns Disease (CD) is such a debilitating and painful condition, that the next step in this research would be to determine whether dietary or nutritional supplementation could affect remission of CD.

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